Articles | Volume 12, issue 4
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 12, 979–988, 2012

Special issue: Landslide hazard and risk assessment at different scales

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 12, 979–988, 2012

Research article 16 Apr 2012

Research article | 16 Apr 2012

Technical Note: Assessing predictive capacity and conditional independence of landslide predisposing factors for shallow landslide susceptibility models

S. Pereira1, J. L. Zêzere1, and C. Bateira2 S. Pereira et al.
  • 1RISKam, Centro de Estudos Geográficos, IGOT, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal
  • 2DyNaT, Centro de Estudos em Geografia e Ordenamento do Território, Universidade do Porto, Portugal

Abstract. The aim of this study is to identify the landslide predisposing factors' combination using a bivariate statistical model that best predicts landslide susceptibility. The best model is one that has simultaneously good performance in terms of suitability and predictive power and has been developed using variables that are conditionally independent. The study area is the Santa Marta de Penaguião council (70 km2) located in the Northern Portugal.

In order to identify the best combination of landslide predisposing factors, all possible combinations using up to seven predisposing factors were performed, which resulted in 120 predictions that were assessed with a landside inventory containing 767 shallow translational slides. The best landslide susceptibility model was selected according to the model degree of fitness and on the basis of a conditional independence criterion. The best model was developed with only three landslide predisposing factors (slope angle, inverse wetness index, and land use) and was compared with a model developed using all seven landslide predisposing factors.

Results showed that it is possible to produce a reliable landslide susceptibility model using fewer landslide predisposing factors, which contributes towards higher conditional independence.